"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


not in a hurry there

I'm off to be a responsible adult at our church camping association's winter youth retreat, Midwinter. We all head to lovely Glen Rose, Texas, home of some dinosaur footprints, the Creation Evidence Museum, and not much else (does close proximity to my aunt and uncle's house on Lake Granbury count?), to meet up with friends from the other churches we go to youth camp with every summer. It's lots of fun and always an adventure. Past trips to Midwinter have involved:
  1. One broken collarbone as a result of the annual full-contact/no pads football match with the boys from HPBC. The kid had to take so much Vicodin that the youth minister convinced him to cheer for Kansas State. While he was wearing a Baylor shirt.
  2. One narrowly averted crisis when the junior girls decided to get revenge on the senior girls by dropping Ex-lax into their coke cans. That would've been a long bus ride home.
  3. Some ridiculous costumes for the dance (Yes, I said dance. Baptist youth camp has changed.), including the "Dodgeball" incident. The best, though, was 80's prom night, when one of the girls came over to me and asked if she looked like a $2, ahem, lady of the night (I'm paraphrasing). I nearly swallowed my tongue, but another girl immediately says, "Oh, no, at least $5." They don't tell you what to do about that in youth intern training.
  4. Much lost sanity as the result a bunch of low-maintenance Austin girls sharing a cabin with the girls from Lubbock, who are sweet and all, but they get up at 5 in the morning to start applying makeup. At youth camp. And they don't all get up at 5. One alarm goes off at 5:10, then another at 5:20, then one at 5:30, and so on. For breakfast at 8. My gosh.
  5. Pranks like crazy. (You have zero privacy and anyone can get into your stuff at any time. I'm seriously afraid to use my own toothpaste at Midwinter.) But this year I am prepared. All I'm saying is that it involves duct tape.
  6. Some questionably close contact between members of the opposite sex on the bus. Last year I said, "Be sure you leave room for the Holy Spirit." Kid, without missing a beat, says, "Oh, it's okay. He's on the South Beach Diet."
  7. Houston moms who can't let the kids lead worship themselves. Last year we were subjected to an absolutely awful, off-key rendition of some song and the kid sitting in front of us (the sponsors) starts making butterfly motions a la the Happy Hands Club in Napoleon Dynamite. It is really hard to be a responsible adult when something that funny happens.

But I love it all. Youth ministry is so much fun, and it's so great to get away to a beautiful place to get to watch them think about faith and life and calling. It's always bitter cold, but there are so many kids to catch up with and things about life and God to learn. I'm thankful for the chance to go sit on the bluffs over the Brazos for awhile, read some John Graves, and think about my own life and where it's going. I always come home feeling lucky to get to be part of these kids lives and to have a church that trusts its teenagers to lead. Have a great weekend!

"You are not in a hurry there; you learned long since not to be." John Graves, Good-bye to a River: A Narration


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